Cumnor 2: Second in Division 3!

 

Cumnor 2 finished their season on 21st April with a with a 5-1 win against Witney 3, the culmination of an excellent season which sees them finish second in division 3

In fact over and above this superb result, Cumnor 2 have a unique record this season, they are the only team in the OCA to beat a University team this season!

So clearly his has been a great season for the team, and there have been many fine individual performances

Andrey and Andy stand out, in fact we reckon Andy will win the David Del Nevo prize for the best performance in division 3

(Andrey hasn’t played quite enough games, tied up with first team duty no doubt). But over and above that it is great to see so many new faces playing. I think it’s fair to say Steve chose his teams not with a grand plan of placing high in the division, but more with the idea of giving everybody who wanted it a chance to play. I count 7 new players in the above list – and that indicates the rude health the club currently finds itself in!

 

Busy Nights at the Club Coming Up

The over the board Chess season is now up and running. For the next two weeks, 21st and 28th October, both teams will be playing League Matches. The Club will be open for social Chess but there numbers will be down as 12 players will be involved in the matches two weeks running.

Cumnor One will be playing against Oxford University 1 on the 21st and Witney 1 on the 28th, both matches will be at home. Cumnor One currently sit top of division one with two wins from two but these two matches will provide some tough games for the first team. Oxford University 1 will be playing their first match of the season as the University teams as they need fit their matches around the academic year.

Cumnor Two will be playing their first matches of the season after two false starts. They will be playing Cowley 3 on the the 21st and then Oxford University 3 on the 28th both of the matches will be away from home. Originally Cumnor two’s season should have started against Abingdon School on the 4th October but it was postponed due to Abingdon’s Michaelmas fair. Then the Oxford University 3 fixture was also rearranged after they had some issues with the fixture pile up.

Three Month Membership to the Club for Free!

“Cruel as it may sound’ but the COVID-19 lockdown was a boom for chess”

said five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand at the end of last year. We at Cumnor Chess Club would have to agree with him.

Its been a funny old 18 months or so but Chess has handled it pretty well.

Not just the lockdown, Netflix’s hit The Queen’s Gambit, has been a driving force behind at least some of it.

With an audience of 62 million in its first 28 days it did reawaken many peoples love of the game along with bringing new people to the game.

Chess has never been more popular.

Chessboard sales jumped 87% in the US after the show’s release. Lichess announced this week that 4 billion games have been played on the platform and Chess.com had 2.7 million new accounts setup last November, the month of the Queens Gambit release.

The club opened it’s doors at the beginning of September and it has been great meeting people and playing over the board again. We would like to give everyone a chance to come and enjoy our favourite game. So the Club will be free to all old and new members until January 2022! That gives any you 12 weeks of over the board matches, friendly and competitive games and even a chance to play in the league for free!

We are in a very fortunate position that this has happened and hope the offer gets taken up.

Cumnor One will play the first league match this coming Thursday the 30th September against Didcot 1. In fact this will kick off the season along with the Banbury 1 v Cowley 1 match, the first set of league matches since early March 2020.

More information can be found on our New Members page.

Open Club nights start on the 9th September

So last tonight concluded our regular online Thursday evenings, and great fun they were.
For the past eighteen months we’ve been able to continue playing chess with each other. This of course was due to Graham Cluley building the platform at the start of the first lock-down in March 2020.

Thanks a million Graham, it was a god send.

Next week we shall reconvene once again at the club.
Thursday 9th September at 7pm.

The OCA 20/21 season commences during the last week of September. Only three divisions this season, as a number of clubs have reduced their teams.
Cumnor 1 remain in Division 1, and Cumnor 2 play in Division 3.

When we meet next Thursday can we please do the following:
Bring a mask, in case you wish, or your opponent wishes you to wear one.
Bring your own refreshments, and take any empties and waste home with you.
Sanitiser will be available. Please use the sanitiser prior to playing a game.

The club now has seventeen digital clocks, which is enough for match and club play during the same evening. The OCA 20/21 season requires digital clocks to be used only. We have therefore complied with this new ruling. The club will still have a few analog clocks on site should they be needed by anyone.

We looking forward to next Thursday, fingers crossed it will be permanent.

Message from Steve Bennett 03/09/2021

The 2021-22 Season!

Some great news… Over the Board League Chess will be back in the Autumn with Cumnor 1 remaining in Division One while Cumnor 2 will join the combined Division Three and Four, which will from now on be called Division Three. All this is yet to be confirmed but it is exciting! Cumnor is currently planning to open the doors in September.

Roger Thetford’s report follows:

Responses from the clubs revealed that we had 22 teams plus two possibles for next year’s ODCL. Banbury could confirm only one team but may be able to raise two; Oxford Brookes would like to enter a team but will not know until September whether they have enough players. The Committee meeting held on 19 May decided to allow the clubs until 30 June to enter any further teams, after which the fixture list for the 2021-22 season will be set up.

When we abandoned the 2019-20 league we said that relegation and promotion would not apply. Applying this and eliminating the missing teams from the bottom upwards removes Banbury 3, Bicester 2, Cowley 5 and 6, Didcot 3 and Witney 4, leaving the divisional structure as 8-8-4-3. Combining the bottom two divisions and adding the possible new Brookes team to the new Division 3 gives the following.

Division 1 (8 teams): Banbury 1, Cowley 1, Cowley 2, Cumnor 1, Didcot 1, Oxford City 1, Oxford Univ 1, Witney 1.

Division 2 (8 teams): Banbury 2, Bicester 1, Cowley 3, Didcot 2, Oxford City 2, Oxford Univ 2, Witney 2, Wantage 1.

Division 3 (8 teams): Abingdon School, Cowley 4, Cumnor 2, Oxford Brookes (possible), Oxford City 3, Oxford Univ 3, Wantage 2, Witney 3.

This structure, agreed by the Committee, is provisional, depending on decisions from Banbury and Oxford Brookes. Unless an influx of extra teams allows us to revert to four divisions, rule- changes will be proposed at the AGM to reflect the new three- division structure. (The AGM date was set as Thu 16 Sep.)

All of this assumes that we will be able to return to OTB chess by October.

Mike Duck Online Tournament: The Final Rounds

Sorry this is a bit delayed I have been pretty busy over the last few weeks.

Cumnor 2 definitely blew hot and cold this tournament, with a bye in the first round they had the unfortunate task of playing Oxford 1 and Oxford University 2 in second and third rounds, both of these matches ended 6-0. In the forth round the result was another 6-0 but this time to Cumnor 2, beating Cowley 2. The fifth round saw the closest match against Cowley 1, with Cowley defaulting one game Cumnor ran into a 2- (negative) 1 lead. However, Cowley 1 had to fight for the remaining games and maybe on a different day Cumnor 2 might held out but it wasn’t meant to be. This would have been the shock of the tournament if it had happened.

The final round had Cumnor 2 pitted against Oxford City 2 and this time the result was back in our favour with a 4.5-1.5 win. Overall Cumnor 2 did very well, beating the other “2” teams they played against and finished respectably in mid-table above such powerhouses as Witney 1 and Banbury 1!

After the first three rounds of the Mike Duck Online Tournament Cumnor 1 was sat in a healthy position near the top of the table with 2 wins and a loss. The problem with this is that you end up playing some tough teams! Our forth round match was against Witney 1, in the furloughed 2019-20 season Witney 1 was one of only 3 teams who finished above Cumnor 1, so was this the chance we needed to show what we could have done if we had played the final few matches? The answer is yes, a good 4.5-1.5 win.

However, in our fifth round match we were up against the second strongest team in the tournament, a match against Oxford City 1 (this means we have played all the teams who finished above us in the league). In what was probably the best match of the competition Cumnor 1 pulled the rabbit out of the hat and got the win. Nick agreed a draw with 4 games still to go after looking at the remaining matches and prophesying that we would eventually win, Nick got any numbers for the lottery this weekend?

Mark’s match is a particularly nice win with a galavanting King and a couple of pawns which the whole game revolved around, Ian has put together all the games and they can be found here if you chance a watch.

Going into the final round first place was still within our grasp, well it would take an amazing set of results but we still had a chance. A Cumnor win and an Oxford Uni loss of 5-1 or more would mean we would win the tournament, a win would guaranty second place while a lost or draw would drop us down the table. Cowley 1 had all the big guns out and sadly we fell at the final hurdle losing 3.5-2.5. Oxford Uni won against Banbury so they won the First Mike Duck Tournament and deservedly so. Cumnor 1’s final position was third a very good achievement. The final table can be found here.

The Second Mike Duck Tournament starts on the 18th January 2021 with 4 player a teams so there might be (for the first time ever) a Cumnor 3! We are still planning to have online chess on a Thursday night over Christmas (again for the first time), if you aren’t up to much on Christmas eve or New Years eve… and lets be honest their isn’t much going on so you might as well.

So please have a Merry and Safe Christmas and New Year and hopefully next year we will get back to playing over the board chess. We will have a mighty celebration once we do!

Mike Duck Online Tournament: Round 3

Another week down and another round of the Mike Duck Online Tournament. Both teams had been given reasonably difficult draws in the third around. With two wins from two Cumnor 1 played one of the favorites, Oxford University 1 a team who has been winning pretty much everything locally over the last few years.

While Cumnor 2 have one win and one loss, with the win being a bye in the first round. The bye pushed the team up the table and has caused them to play some tough teams in this case Oxford University 2.

Cumnor 2 suffered another 6-0 loss against Oxford University 2 on Thursday but both Graham and Gareth had some chances during the course of the match.

Board Cumnor 2 Oxford University 2
1 (B) Stevens, Gareth 0 – 1 Enescu, Tudor
2 (W) Carr, Robin 0 – 1 Finn, Chris
3 (B) Bennett, Steven 0 – 1 Pearson, Taylor
4 (W) Cluley, Grahamg 0 – 1 Rochowicz, Nils
5 (B) Hudson, Andrew 0 – 1 Moss, Thomas
6 (W) Monteiro, Pedro 0 – 1 Cinaroglu, Suleyman
Total 0 0 – 6

Cumnor 1 lost 4-2 which is actually the best result by a team playing against Oxford University 1 so far this season. Ian and Nigel picked up the wins, Nigel’s game was particularly enjoyable with a queen sac to promote a pawn in the midgame. At one point it was 2-2 but the match fell away from us.

Board Cumnor 1 Oxford University 1
1 (B) Burrows, Nick 0 – 1 Mihov, Filip
2 (W) MacQueen,Stuart 0 – 1 French, Max
3 (B) Moyse, Nigel J 1 – 0 Miller, Dominic
4 (W) Alizada, Eldar 0 – 1 Fu, Yuting
5 (B) Sayers, Mark 0 – 1 Ramaiya, Anshu
6 (W) Bush, Ian 1 – 0 Bacon, Nicolas
Total 0 2 – 4 Total 0

If you would like to take a look at the tournament, see the results and fixtures along with the table it can be found here.
The draw for round four happened last night after the end of the matches, Oxford University 1 v Oxford City 1 is THE stand out match.

Mon 16 Nov University 1 : Oxford City 1
Mon 16 Nov Witney 2 : Cowley 1
Mon 16 Nov Cowley 2 : Cumnor 2
Mon 16 Nov Oxford City 2 : Abingdon 1
Thu 19 Nov Cumnor 1 : Witney 1
Thu 19 Nov University 2 : University 3
Thu 19 Nov Banbury 1 : Didcot 1

Cumnor 1 and 2 have similarly ranked opponents next week which should create some good games.

Mike Duck Online Tournament: Round 1

The season started with a bang last night as Cumnor 1 won against Witney 2 in the first round of the Mike Duck Online Tournament.

Home Cumnor 1 Witney 2 Away
1 (B) MacQueen, Stuart ½ – ½ Moss, Patrick
2 (W) Alizada, Eldar 1 – 0 Gilders, Ian
3 (B) Burrows, Nick 1 – 0 Kilbride-Newman, Robert (Bob)
4 (W) Terrington, Simon 1 – 0 Turner, Roger
5 (B) Glenn, Liam 1 – 0 Manning, Charlie
6 (W) Stevens, Gareth 1 – 0 Tomkys, Tony
5½ – ½

The five wins and the single draw puts Cunmor 1 at the top (joint along with City 1) of the early season table. Cumnor 2 had a bye in the first round and therefore sit in the top half. However, Cumnor 2 have been “rewarded” with a match against City 1 in the second round draw with the match scheduled for Monday evening. Cumnor 1 will play against Oxford University 2 who overcame Witney 1 in their first match, on Thursday.

If you would like to take a look at the tournament, see the results and fixtures along with the table it can be found here.

It looks like both teams will have a tougher week next than last!

2020-21 Season Goes Online

With the Coronavirus epidemic still being a problem and government rules changing every 10 minutes it has been decided that the Oxfordshire Chess League will move entirely to an online tournament for the coming season. Notes from the AGM can been seen below with the new tournament starting at the end of October.

More information will be published in due course.

*Notes from AGM*

For the 20/21 season, the OCA league will not compete as we normally do.

Instead, there shall be two separate Swiss tournaments played online. The platform will be lichess.org. The first tournament starts on the week commencing Monday 26th October. This tournament will consist of six rounds with a game played every week for six weeks. Game time will be 45 minutes plus 15 seconds per move.

All the teams will be pooled together, with the fixtures pulled out of a hat.

Cumnor will enter both of our teams into both tournaments. Liam will run the first team while Steve will run the second.

During the meeting we found that a number of clubs had difficulty being able to put out all of their teams to play online. Most notably Banbury, whom are only able to field one team to play online this season. Bicester said they cannot field a single team. Didcot said it could field one team and Wantage stressed they were struggling.

The second Swiss tournament will take place after Christmas, and will consist of eight rounds, with a game played each week over eight weeks. Depending on how the first tournament works, may influence how the second tournament works. For example two tiers, one for stronger teams and the other for weaker teams.
Nothing concrete was concluded, but the general consensus is to make it as simple as possible.

Your new Over the Board chess grades will not be affected by these tournaments. These online games qualify for an ECF online grade.

It was suggested that only players with ECF membership may take part. This is one of the things that Ian is going to clarify.

A few clubs stressed a preference for a team to consist of four players only for the 20/21 on-line tournaments. This was voted out by a significant majority of the clubs wishing to maintain six boards. This of course means more of us can get involved in this season’s online competitive chess.

The Swiss tournaments will be played weekly. Matches will be played on the evening of the clubs normal club night. Therefore, if Cumnor teams are drawn first, then we shall play the fixture on Thursday as usual.

I believe only Cumnor and some of Cowley’s teams play on Thursdays. No club plays on Fridays.

2020-21 Season

We need to come together to put in place how the League will work this coming season.

The season traditionally starts in October so if you have ideas, queries or concerns please let Ian or Roger know.

“The 20-21 season is rapidly approaching. Due to the current pandemic it will be very different from any in recent history. Concrete proposals to address this will be made at the AGM in September, and will be available in full later this month. However we thought it best to provide as early as possible an outline of the ways that we might play chess next season in order to obtain feedback, and to this end the document linked to below discusses how the league might be run next season. Comments on the proposals contained therein would be much appreciated. If you have any please either contact your club representative, or send an email to the League Secretary, Roger Thetford”

Ian Bush OCA Chairman